November 5, 2009

Pakistan’s ministry of culture awaiting the return of 290 artefacts

Posted at 7:04 pm in Similar cases

Two years ago, large numbers of looted artefacts from Pakistan were seized in the UK & Italy. Agreements have been made for their return, but various constraints mean that this has still not taken place. Such returns represent a major victory in the battle against modern day smugglers of illegal antiquities, although efforts must also be made to now track down more of the chain of people involved to stop such crimes occurring initially.

The News (Pakistan)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Ministry awaits return of 290 stolen artefacts
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ministry of Culture is endeavouring for return of over 290 stolen artefacts from Italy and UK that were recovered two years back.

Official sources in the ministry told APP that some 198 priceless objects were recovered from the UK and these 4,000 years old pottery items were handed over to the British Museum which identified these belonging to Pakistan origin.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Ministry of Culture to arrange transportation for bringing these artefacts back to home.

While some 96 stolen artefacts recovered from Italy were also waiting to be handed over to Pakistan government from the past two years.

The ancient treasures, which were smuggled out of Pakistan, mostly include pottery from the Nal village in Central Baluchistan, 4,000BC – 2,000BC.

Experts from the National Museum of Oriental Art in Rome had established that some of the 100 or so pieces came from South Baluchistan and others from the Indus Valley region, were discovered at a 2005 antiques fair in Italy, the sources said.

These pieces were handed over to Pakistan embassy in Rome, Italy.

“It cannot be said when and how these precious objects left the country. But it is a huge accomplishment that the international community, under the umbrella of UNESCO, is fighting illegal antiquities market and returning stolen artefacts to country of origin,” sources said.

Financial constraints were among the major reasons that caused delayed in the return of these items, the official said. Recently, the Ministry of Culture in the National Assembly, informed that the customs authorities have detained 500 ancient coins and 30 pieces of pottery at the Islamabad International Airport.

The case of these artefacts was under trial in the Customs Court, Rawalpindi and was expected to be handed over to the Department of Archaeology soon.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Possibly related articles

Tags: , , , , ,

RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment

We want to hear your views. Be as critical or controversial as you like, but please don't get personal or offensive. Remember this is for feedback and constructive discussion!
Comments may be edited or removed if they do not meet these guidelines. Repeat offenders will be blocked from posting further comments. Any comment deemed libellous by Elginism's editors will be removed.
The commenting system uses some automatic spam detection and occasionally comments do not appear instantly - please do not repost comments if they do not show up straight away